» living life Upside Downer

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The ebb and flow

We’re now a few weeks into Sam School.

We have had our fair share of frustration along the way. This transition has been overflowing with learning opportunities for Sam AND for Jen & I.

We have found that the biggest successes are coming from the activities we have scheduled weekly. Here’s the biggest winners so far:

  • Reading time with Auntie Margo:
    Jen’s Aunt comes by weekly for reading time. She sits with Sam and reads books that he has selected. In coming weeks, Margo will bring books to read to him. Margo also volunteers for the SMART reading program at PPS schools.
  • Gymnastics:
    Sam has fallen in love with gymnastics and we have found an amazing place where he can get 1 on 1 instruction from an awesome instructor at SPECRTA Gymnastics. Karissa is the director/instructor and we look forward to seeing the progress Sam makes not only with confidence, but to help him with his muscle tone, spatial awareness, and balance.

We’ll be plugging more weekly/regularly scheduled activities as we move toward October and November. By the time Winter rolls around, I think we’ll have a great routine.

This past week Sam had the opportunity to visit the Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI with Jen. He was able to make a robot bug, cheese, did some leather work, visited a robot panda, saw Darth Vader, and many more projects.

We also took a trip to Portland Store Fixtures (as seen in the photo at the top of this blog post) where Sam surrounded himself with an abundance of mannequins.

A trip to the wood craft store allowed me to plan out some projects but also turned into an exciting adventure for Sam when we bought some things for us to make a wooden toy truck together (hopefully next week we’ll have time to cut, drill, and create this toy).

Sam’s love of thrift store shopping makes for some fun adventures sprinkled throughout the week.

iPhone Photo by Jen Downer of She Saw Things Photography

The difficult times came when Sam was ‘off’. When he gets angry, or things are not going the way that he wants, his behavior turns from sweet, silly, and fun to destructive, beast. He gets physical because it is easier for him to process his anger and frustration through the destruction or violence. We continue to work with him to use words to express his feelings. We’re making progress every day but this is a huge challenge that is exhausting for us as it is for him.

Here’s hoping that we get routines dialed in over the next few weeks.

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